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Pick of the day: 40 years of Washington Monthly

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Some of the best journalism to come out of Washington in the last four decades did not originate in The Washington Post's newsroom, or in the New York Times' Washington bureau, or over at NPR, or at any of the other big name media outlets dotting the city. For my money -- $5.95 an issue, every other month -- some of the most memorable writing has emerged from the tiny Washington Monthly magazine.

The 40th anniversary issue is on newsstands now, and it contains a fascinating look back at the magazine's greatest hits from some big name journalists who grew up inside its carefully edited pages -- Taylor Branch, James Fallows, Nicholas Lemann, Phillip Weiss, Timothy Noah, Katherine Boo, and others. There are wonderful excerpts of journalism taking on weighty subjects, though from a slightly different point of view than the big boys usually offer.

As the introduction to the excerpts says, "They are never quite on the headlines, instead running presciently ahead or following thoughtfully behind. Important people and events are seen through unconventional lenses. We view the post–civil rights era racial struggles from a poker table in rural Georgia, the fraying of the American social fabric through a home shopping network, and Bill Clinton through the eyes of his neighbors in Harlem."

Enjoy catching up on some truly terrific journalism.

By Michael S. Rosenwald  | December 3, 2009; 8:23 AM ET
Categories:  Story Picks  
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